12 Traits of Successful People

Having spent most of my adult life reading and studying what makes people successful I have noticed that most successful people have many common traits.  Most of these traits can be summarized into 12 very common traits.

  1. Successful people enjoy their work.  All those leaders who have exceled in their fields mention that they love what they do, to the point that it doesn’t seem like work.  Successful people don’t have a J-O-B (Just Over Broke) they look at their careers as an extension of themselves and their life.
  2. Successful people have a positive attitude.  They have an outlook on life that everything will work out for the good.  They have a faith in the future but have a present mindset that defines reality for themselves and their teams. Successful people understand that people can see, sense and feel their attitudes and work constantly to control their attitudes. Successful people believe in unlimited potential and that they are the only ones who can limit their potential.
  3. Successful people view failure as learning experiences. They understand that sometimes you win and sometimes you learn.  Getting knocked down doesn’t mean you are a failure but staying down does.  Successful people use failure as an opportunity to discover their strengths and weaknesses and to improve in both areas.
  4. Successful people are goal setters. They are decisive and disciplined about their goals.  They make their goals personal and positive.  They use words in setting their goals that are present tense and emotional that indicates the achievement that they want. Their goals are measurable, realistic and have a time table of completion.
  5. Successful people have character and high integrity. They do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. Successful people develop trust with people and they look for ways to help others succeed because they know that a “rising tide raises all boats”.
  6. Successful people are persistent. They understand that most people fail because of resistance.  This resistance in most cases is self-imposed and can be defined simply as fear; fear of failure, criticism, perceptions and fear of fear itself. Successful people know that the only way to overcome resistance is through persistence. Every time I have read the story the tortoise wins the race by slow methodical persistence.
  7. Successful people take risks. They don’t run from risk but run towards the risk. Successful people understand that only those who are willing to take great risks can accomplish great things.
  8. Successful people have great communication skills. They understand that they  have to clearly communicate what they want not only written and verbally but also to be able to communicate it on a level that can be understood by people at all levels.
  9. Successful people surround themselves with other successful people. They understand that it’s not just business it’s just people.  Successful people understand that to reach the highest levels they need the help of people who are supportive and knowledgeable in areas where they have weaknesses. They look for role models and emulate those characteristics that they admire and learn from others mistakes.
  10. Successful people are healthy. They understand to perform at their best their body has to be performing at its best.  Successful people are proactive about their diet, exercise and rest. They allow time for renewal not only for their body but for their minds. They understand that quality downtime may seem a “waste of time” but in the long run gives them the energy needed to accomplish their goals, often this patience can lead to immediate results.
  11. Successful people believe in a higher power.  They don’t take all the credit for what they have accomplished.  Successful people practice an attitude of gratitude.
  12. Successful people have a “why”.  They have a sense of purpose and a great desire to give back to others.  It is this burning desire that keeps them going when times are tough, they understand that it isn’t all about them all the time.
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2 thoughts on “12 Traits of Successful People

  1. Thanks for posting. These are great key thoughts. I’ve just started reading a book by Marshall Goldsmith, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. He postulates that a lot of times we do not understand how we come across to others in the workplace. As I was reading through your 12 Traits, I was also thinking about how I come across to others in those areas. For instance, if one sees themselves as very confident, others may see them arrogant, stand-offish, short, etc. Food for thought from an added perspective …

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